Tom Watson Calls for a Thorough Review of Online Casino Licenses
The Labour Party has called for a complete review of the UK gambling licenses issued to casinos from 2014. The party has also demanded that all casinos that have been found to fail their customers forced to reapply for gambling licenses with the UKGC.
This comes in the wake of the severe penalties that were imposed on four major online casinos after they were found to be violating gambling regulations. In fact, over one-third of the online casinos in the country were found to be violating the laws, although only four of them have been penalized so far. The total penalties came to be £4.5 million in size.
Tom Watson, the UK Labour Party’s deputy leader, has questioned the integrity of these operators and the efficacy of the current procedures put in place by the UKGC to tackle the violators. Watson has been outspoken in his criticism of the online gambling industry. He states that the UKGC cannot be left catching up with the wrongdoers and needs to be more proactive in its approach.
Watson, in a letter to the UKGC CEO, Neil McArthur, and Conservative MP, Jeremy Wright, urged that the offshore online casino operators should not regard the UKGC licenses as mere permits to operate in the UK, but as certificates of trust and credibility.
To its credit, the UKGC has reviewed over 123 online casino operators over the past 18 months and have asked 45 operators to submit an action plan to improve their process. 38 of these operators have already shown improvement in their operations. Another 34 operators had minor issues, although they were generally compliant with most of the regulations.
The hard stance from the government towards the £14.5 billion industry in the country has already sent the stock prices of major casino operators tumbling down, who are already reeling with the business uncertainty arising out of prolongated Brexit.